Monday, February 09, 2009

Trains, More Trains, and Performance at Kala Ghoda

The train is thick with bodies swaying in motion. I think of the Kala Ghoda Festival yesterday and relish every minute of it. What’s a festival, you have to see it to believe it. In a script writing workshop I attended as a part of the festival the participants were asked to write a script and four of them ended up writing about trains: there was a girl travelling at 1 a.m. in the ladies compartment (mine), and another in the general ladies compartment selling something, and what else? I don’t remember.

The point I am making is: we are so pre-occupied with the train commute that we commuters have no time for anything else. What we discuss also comes around to trains: the new time table which is inconvenient, the seats that are lumpy and sagging, the windows that are layered with spit and vomit, the handholds that are missing, the suffocation one feels, the guy with the mane of reddish hair, some film historian, or, something, who is no longer to be seen.

I guess that’s what goes on in trains because we want to stop thinking about the sweating body that is pushing us, depriving us of our private space. It’s dangerous to be so close to people, many don’t have the luxury of a bath in the morning, many have communicable diseases. That’s the reason why I bathe twice every day. I am careful.

Today I am again playing Peacemaker and breaking up a fight. The eternally unanswered question, “Who pushed?” is being thrown back and forth. “Monday morning, so people are, sort of, in a weekend mood.” But he won’t relent, “So what does that mean he can push on Friday also because it is the weekend?” I can’t beat that logic, so I quit and close my eyes tight, try to focus, yes, focus, when will Kurla arrive? Oh, why doesn’t it arrive soon so those people of Andheri (or, darkness) can disembark?

Kurla arrives and I heave a sigh of relief. The mass of bodies are ejected. Sigh! Now I can breathe freely.

En Passant...

I performed my poem “Welcome to Kala Ghoda” at the Kala Ghoda Festival, literature section, I will put a picture here taken by my childhood friend, writer, photographer and wildlife enthusiast – Gangadharan Menon. I have a particular affinity for Kala Ghoda as I worked here for more than three years in the eighties, twenty years ago and I am a member of the David Sassoon Library where I performed.


Sagarmani Dhakal said...

I had been searching for a poet who blogs. I am an infant on this field. Good to see there are thoughts which burst.

John said...

Hey sagar,
no problem. We are all infants some time or the other.